"And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49).
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" (Acts 1:8).
Have you ever stopped to consider how remarkable it is that after three years of teaching and training His followers, Jesus said they still weren't ready? He had answered their questions, modeled every form of ministry imaginable, and walked them through the Scriptures (see Luke 24:27), but it wasn't enough.
The thing they needed was power. In my new book, Power to Deliver, I focus mainly on God's power for deliverance from demonic torment. However, before we step out to operate in the supernatural, I want us to consider the very source of God's power.
What comes to mind when you hear that word—power? Do you immediately think of God, or are your first thoughts related to worldly expressions of power—people who possess influence through politics, wealth or celebrity? Perhaps you equate power with good preaching: "That was a powerful message." Or maybe you think it is limited to the regeneration of the human spirit at salvation.
The Power Is Actually a Person
Sadly, few of us associate power with the Person of the Holy Spirit. This was certainly the case in my own life. In my early experiences with the supernatural, I learned to think of power primarily in terms of phenomena. Power was an "it"—something that happened which could not be explained by the laws of nature. After I was saved, however, I discovered that power is not an "it" but a "who." The source of God's power is found in the essence of His being. Power is not just what He does; it is who He is.
When we fail to cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit, we cut ourselves off from the true source of power and end up chasing ever-decreasing phenomena. Knowing the Holy Spirit, talking to Him, and meditating upon Him—these are the keys to releasing His presence and power in our lives.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself how well you know the Holy Spirit? So many believers fall into the trap of thinking of Him as a glorified Santa Claus who comes to distribute gifts. We relegate Him to this role and completely miss out on the relational intimacy available to us.
Get to Know God on Earth
Jesus placed great emphasis on the Person of the Holy Spirit. He actually told the disciples it was better for them that He leave so they might receive the Spirit:
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away" (John 16:7).
Even in His resurrected body, Jesus can only be in one place at a time. His Spirit, however, can be everywhere. This is why Jesus said His departure is to our advantage. He wants all men and women to experience a relationship with Him through the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. And this benefit is just the tip of the iceberg.
"For if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you" (John 16:7).
Here Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Helper. Other passages describe Him as our comforter, our teacher and our guide (see John 14:6, 26, 16:13). These are all personality descriptions! And there is more—according to Scripture, the Holy Spirit has a mind, will and emotions (see Rom. 8:27, 15:30; 1 Cor. 12:11). He speaks, He testifies, He prays, He can be grieved, He can be insulted, He can be resisted and He can be quenched (see John 15:26; Acts 7:51, 13:2; Rom. 8:26; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19; Heb. 10:29). What does this mean? It means the Spirit is a Person with a personality. He is not a cloud or a funny feeling; He is the expression of God's inner nature.
How Are You Treating the Holy Spirit?
The question we have to ask ourselves is whether we treat the Holy Spirit accordingly. Do we know Him and talk to Him as a Person?
He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you (John 16:14).
Think about this for a moment: The Father determined it was not enough to send us His Son as a teacher, prophet, healer, redeemer and savior. He did not stop there in His pursuit of our restoration. He had to take His own Spirit, the very depths of His personality, and give it to everyone who said yes.
The most precious and sacred thing we possess as humans is our spirit. It is the core of our being, the essence of our existence, and we cannot give it to another. But the uncreated God is not bound by the laws governing human spirits. He can and does share His Spirit with us!
Steve Beauchamp is the author of Power to Deliver: A Guide to Spiritual Warfare and Freedom and a senior leader at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. He currently serves on the Pastoral Care leadership team and is the director of the Prophetic, Healing, and Deliverance courses at the IHOP University. Stephen has also served as a missionary in Western Europe and ministers regularly internationally. Stephen and his wife Sage both graduated from the Brownsville Revival School of ministry.